Until the arrival of Ellis Hooks on the 21st century blues and soul scenes with his now-signature meld of R&B, blues and Southern gospel, it seemed that the great stories surrounding these musics had already been told and passed into antiquity with the great names assigned to them -- Otis Redding, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, James Carr, and Sam Cooke, to name a few. Not so. Ellis Hooks was born in Bayminette, Alabama, between Birmingham and Montgomery. He is the 13th of 16 children born to sharecroppers. According to legend, he didn't own a pair of shoes until he was eight.